What’s not to like about fire, cigars, and chicks man… That is what caught my attention of the Total Flame booth at IPCPR this year. Truthfully, Jared and I were walking by the Total Flame booth and a charming young lady with a wonderful southern accent called us over. Now I am a sucker for a southern accent, so we stopped by and talked to the gal for a bit and she gave us some samples. I do not know much about the company, but it seems the branding is directed at the biker subculture. The website is in Russian too, which makes it even more hardcore. For some reason, I feel compelled to drink with the guys that own this company. I am not sure why, just a hunch, as the booth both made me feel comfortable and at home, and at the same time wanting to set things on fire and blow stuff up. The blend I grabbed is called the World Tour, and it seems to be a multi-country blend produced in Nicaragua at the Plasencia factory. The gal at the booth recommended it to me, as I told her my tastes leaned mild-medium.
Wrapper: No clue
Binder: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere
Filler: All sorts of awesome
Dry Draw: berries, cinnamon, lingering pepper
First Third: The beginning was impressive, with cinnamon and graham cracker notes hitting my palate. The profile was very rich, and the depth had hints of latte on the finish. The retrohale was all nuts, like a macadamia or lighter nut. The draw was luscious and full of flavor. I was not expecting this when I fired up the World Tour, as I normally fear most Nicaraguan cigars tend to be a bit overpowering. Score one for the booth gal who nailed my tastes. The profile mellowed a bit towards as I worked my way into it, and it did take a few draws at times, but I am not used to big cigars.
Second Third: There was a little wonky burn at this point that required correction and I felt like the depth wavered. I was still getting the macadamia finish on the draw and retro. Reminded me of those awesome chocolates you get from Hawaii from friends who rub it in when they get home from a vacation. The nutty flavors really stood out, with the latte finish developing, and cinnamon still in the background. The depth had returned and maybe it was a bunching issue that I caught. The graham cracker picked up again, with subtle honey notes as well.
Final Third: The World Tour really nails the nutty Nicaraguan flavors, and the final third continued to deliver. The ending was smooth, with the graham cracker and latte notes as the main tastes. The draw was very creamy, no extra tar or buildup. The nut flavors provided the depth, but the cinnamon had left by this point.
Construction: It did have some burn issues, which I think affected the balance at times, but this is a fairly large cigar as well.
Final Thoughts: This was a nice surprise, and I think if it was a smaller ring gauge or size I would be all over it. For me, it is tough to get into the big cigars for time reasons. However, this is a straight up shop cigar for me. The World Tour is something I would love to sit around a campfire with, cigar shop, or anywhere hanging with friends and enjoying a few cocktails. I would definitely recommend this to any fans of mild-medium cigars, along with fans of current production Plasencia stuff. It seems like a large majority of the cigars coming out of that factory seem to hit my palate just right. Kudos to the Total Flame crew for producing a great cigar, and I cannot wait to sit down and chat with them next year at the show. I do have another blend form them I will review when the weather warms up.
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